Nissan Juke Nismo RS

Nissan Juke Nismo RS, front action 2
Nissan Juke Nismo RS, front action
Nissan Juke Nismo RS, side static
Nissan Juke Nismo RS, rear action
Nissan Juke Nismo RS, rear static
Nissan Juke Nismo RS, dashboard
Nissan Juke Nismo RS, boot
Nissan Juke Nismo RS, rear seats
Nissan Juke Nismo RS, front seat

THERE are plenty of hot hatches out there - but I guarantee none look like the Nissan Juke Nismo RS.

And this will be its strength and weakness when it comes to attracting those seeking performance in an eye-catching package.

The basic Juke shape has always tended to divide opinion with little middle ground and the addition of all the hot hatch bells and whistles on this souped-up version will probably strengthen the Marmite response.

If you love it then welcome to a slick speedster that is also a practical option around town when taking a break from setting your hair on fire.

There is no doubting Nissan's sporting intentions with the Nismo RS. Start at the front and a smart front grille featuring Nismo RS badging makes an immediate impression before in-your-face wheelarches lead you to stylish 18-inch alloy wheels and deep side skirts.

When you get round the back a large rear spoiler, deep bumper and a single large exhaust leave the Juke seeming to hug the road. The final touches of red accents on the door mirrors and brake calipers complete the hot hatch look.

The interior is given a similar makeover with sports seats, soft touch materials and lots of sporty detailing.

One of the options fitted to my test car were £1,300 Recaro Sports seats which look outstanding but are a bit of a pain to get in and out of due to the high side bolsters which, admittedly, hold you nicely in place when putting the Nismo RS through its paces.

The steering wheel is wrapped in Alcantara while suede makes an appearance on the cowling above the instrument binnacle and on the door panels. Red stitching gives everything a lift.

Controls on the steering wheel give access to the many goodies included on the Nismo RS, although I found the volume button for the radio a bit small and fiddly to use when on the move.

A neat 5.8-inch touchscreen provides access to an efficient satellite navigation system as well as a reversing camera which makes parking a cinch.

Below the screen is a dual zone climate control unit which ensures a pleasant atmosphere at all times.

Space and comfort up front are good, but it's a bit tighter in the rear with leg room a touch limited although there is enough shoulder room for two adults and head space is good.

The transmission tunnel makes a third rear-seat passenger a squeeze and is not really suitable for anything but short journeys.

There are two cup holders and a cubby hole between the driver and front seat passenger - but storage space for your odds and ends could be more plentiful and the door bins are narrow and not very deep. In the rear there are cup holders in the doors but no storage area on the back of the front seats.

The boot is a split-level affair and is adequate for the weekly shopping although your golf clubs will require the rear seats to be folded - an easy task - creating the required extra space.

But when all's said and done these car's are all about performance and the Nismo RS does exactly what it says on the hot hatch tin.

The 215bhp petrol engine powers the car from 0-60mph in seven seconds on its way to a top speed of 137mph. It is not as fast as some but that doesn't seem the case when you are behind the wheel.

The 1.6-litre unit is linked to a six-speed manual gearbox which was a bit notchy for me and not as slick as I would have liked. That said road-hugging handling and sharp steering make for an exciting drive.

FAST FACTS

Nissan Juke Nismo RS

Price:£22,905

Mechanical:215bhp, 1,618cc, 4cyl petrol engine driving front wheels via 6-speed manual gearbox

Max Speed:137mph

0-62mph:7.0 seconds

Combined MPG:39.2

Insurance Group:20

C02 emissions:168g/km

Bik rating:32%

Warranty:3yrs/60,000 miles

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